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Setbacks & Comebacks

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God can take your setback and turn it into a comeback!

You may have had a setback in your life. Today I have a simple message for you: No matter what you are facing or where you find yourself, I need you to know that God can take your mess and turn it into a message! God can take your test and turn it into a testimony

God can take your setback and turn it into a comeback

There is an incredible story in the Bible where a man named Joseph had a series of setbacks. Not only was God with him in his desperate situation, but God delivered him.


Joseph was born when his father, Jacob, was very old. He was his dad’s favorite child. His Dad bought him an incredible multi-colored tunic that made him stand out. This made his brothers jealous of him. 

To make matters worse, Joseph had two dreams where he saw his brothers bowing down to him. He shared how “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” (Genesis 37:9)

Instead of keeping this dream to himself, he shared it with his brothers which just infuriated them more. So much so that his older brothers wanted to kill him!

The time came when Joseph was sent to check on his brothers who were out in the wilderness looking after the family flocks. The brothers discussed how this was an opportunity to get rid of Joseph once and for all. They planned to kill him, but they ended up throwing him in a pit with the plan of leaving him there to die. 

But a group of traders was passing by on their way to Egypt, and the brothers decided to sell Joseph to them. 

To cover their crime, the brothers “killed a young goat and dipped Joseph’s robe in its blood. They sent the beautiful robe to their father with this message: “Look at what we found. Doesn’t this robe belong to your son?” (Genesis 37:31-32)

They implied that a wild animal must have eaten him, leaving just his blood-stained robe that was torn into pieces. 

Crushed Dreams

Joseph had had a dream. He felt that God had a special plan for his life, but he ended up getting thrown into a pit by his own brothers, barely surviving a planned murder, and being sold into slavery. It looked like he would have nothing to look forward to except for a life of misery and pain under the oppression of slavery, but God wasn’t finished with this young man!

When the traders “arrived in Egypt”, they ended up selling “Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.” (Genesis 37:36)

Of all the people Joseph could have been sold to, he ended up in the best place possible, living in the palace as a servant to the second most influential person in the whole of Egypt. 

The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master.” (Genesis 39:2 NLT)

God turned his setback into a great comeback!

In fact, we are told, “Potiphar noticed this and realized that the Lord was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master’s household and property, the Lord began to bless Potiphar’s household for Joseph’s sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished.” (Genesis 39:3-5)

Pit to Palace 

Joseph went from the pit to the palace.

In the palace, Joseph became Potiphar’s managing director, taking over the “complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned” and “with Joseph there, he didn’t worry about a thing.” (Genesis 39:6)

Everything was going well for Joseph. He was also “a very handsome and well-built young man.” (Genesis 39:6)

And this led to a huge setback. Potiphar’s wife took a fancy to Joseph and tried to woo him into having an affair with her. 

We are told, “She kept putting pressure on Joseph day after day, but he refused to sleep with her, and he kept out of her way as much as possible. One day, however, no one else was around when he went in to do his work. She came and grabbed him by his cloak, demanding, “Come on, sleep with me!” Joseph tore himself away, but he left his cloak in her hand as he ran from the house.” (Genesis 39:10-12)

She fabricated a story about how Joseph had tried to take advantage of her. She made up a story saying, “He came into my room to rape me but I screamed.” And when “he heard me scream, he ran outside and got away, but he left his cloak behind with me.” (Genesis 39:14-15)

Joseph’s cloak was used as “evidence” against him. 

We are told that “Potiphar was furious when he heard his wife’s story about how Joseph had treated her. So he took Joseph and threw him into the prison where the king’s prisoners were held, and there he remained.” (Genesis 39:19-20)

Palace to Prison 

From living in the palace and holding a position of influence, Joseph was falsely accused and ended up in prison. This second huge setback in Joseph’s life could have left him forever defeated. But God was with him, and when God is with you, all will work out okay. 

But the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. And the Lord made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries because Joseph took care of everything. The Lord was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.” (Genesis 39:21-23)

Now a while later, Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker offended their royal master and they ended up in the same prison where Joseph was. And one night both men had a troubling dream.

God had given Joseph the ability to interpret dreams. After the cup-bearer shared his dream with Joseph, he told him, “Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer.” (Genesis 40:13) 

Joseph asked the cupbearer, “And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place.” (Genesis 40:14)

When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given the first dream such a positive interpretation, he asked Joseph to interpret his dream too. Unfortunately, the chief baker’s dream was bad news. Joseph shared that “Three days from now Pharaoh will lift you up and impale your body on a pole. Then birds will come and peck away at your flesh.” (Genesis 40:19)

And guess what happened…

We are told that “Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials.” (Genesis 40:20)

“He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup. But Pharaoh impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had predicted when he interpreted his dream.” (Genesis 40:21-22)

We are also told that “Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.” (Genesis 40:23)

Another two years passed. Joseph is still in prison.

One night Pharaoh had two dreams that deeply disturbed him. One about cows and another about grain. He called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant.  

This is when the king’s chief cup-bearer remembered Joseph. He told Pharaoh, “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning. There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant. And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole.” (Genesis 41:11-13)

Prison to Power 

Pharaoh wasted no time. He called for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. 

“Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.” “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.” So Pharaoh told Joseph his dream.” (Genesis 41:15-17)

God immediately gave Joseph the ability to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. 

“Joseph responded, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. The seven healthy cows and the seven healthy heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity. The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine. “This will happen just as I have described it, for God has revealed to Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. But afterward, there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land.” (Genesis 41:25-30)

Joseph shared that the dream was a warning of what would soon happen. He shared how there would be seven prosperous years followed by a devastating drought for seven years, and that unless drastic measures were put in place without delay, Egypt would not survive. 

Joseph then gave Pharaoh a strategic plan he could apply to get through this tough period. It involved finding an intelligent and wise man who could be put in charge of the entire land of Egypt with a plan to collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years.

The plan also involved appointing supervisors and ensuring that 20% of all crops were stored away and well-guarded with a system to ensure food could be distributed to the needy during the period of severe famine. Joseph also shared that without putting the right measures in place that “famine will destroy the land.” (Genesis 41:36)

“Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” Genesis 41:37-38)

Without any further thought, “Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. “You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:39-41)

Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the entire land of Egypt. He literally went from zero to hero in a few hours. He came straight from the pit of prison to the position of second in command of the entry country. And Pharaoh told Joseph, going forward, “No one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.” (Genesis 41:44)

God took Joseph from prison back to the palace. God can do the same in your life. You may have had a setback, but God can turn it into the greatest comeback ever. He can take your mess and turn it into a message. He can take your test and turn it into a testimony

Seven Years of Prosperity

“As predicted, for seven years the land produced bumper crops. During those years, Joseph gathered all the crops grown in Egypt and stored the grain from the surrounding fields in the cities. He piled up huge amounts of grain like sand on the seashore. Finally, he stopped keeping records because there was too much to measure.” (Genesis 41:47-49)

Favor in the Middle of Famine

After the seven years of plenty and stockpiling provisions, the dreaded famine hit the land just as God had shown Joseph.   

“Then the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had predicted. The famine also struck all the surrounding countries, but throughout Egypt there was plenty of food. Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well. And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food, he told them, “Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you.” So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world.” (Genesis 41:54-57)

God saved an entire nation because of Joseph. They all would have died of starvation if Joseph had not been able to intercept the dream and if he didn’t have the God-given solution to their problem. With God’s supernatural empowerment and wisdom, Joseph was able to implement a workable strategy to safeguard Egypt. 

No matter where you are today, keep your chin up. Stay obedient. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Stay connected to God. In due course, God will lift you up. Not only can God take you from prison to the palace, but he can also use you to change your world! 

The famine was so severe that it even affected the surrounding nations. Joseph’s family was living in Canaan. They were starving and traveled to Egypt to try to get supplies.

Little would they know that their young brother – the one they had planned to kill and ended up selling into slavery – would be the one to save them! 

“So Jacob’s sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well. Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground.” (Genesis 42:5-6)

We are told that “Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. And he remembered the dreams he’d had about them many years before.” (Genesis 42:8-9)

His childhood dream of his brothers bowing before him had come to pass. 

When his brothers arrived, Joseph could have had them arrested. After all, they planned to murder him and sold him into slavery. But Joseph didn’t get bitter. He forgave his brothers. 

Watch out for Bitterness

Keep your heart pure. Forgive. This can be the one blockage to your freedom that can prevent God from turning your setback into a comeback. 

A message about bitterness, offense, and unforgiveness: When you hold onto grudges, and unresolved anger, and when you allow offense to build up in your heart, you end up poisoning your life: Don’t poison your life. Click here to read.

Joseph then, through a series of events and much to his brother’s surprise, revealed his identity to them.

Joseph showed great mercy to his brothers. He forgave them. 

“Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives.” (Genesis 45:4-5)

Joseph then shared with his brothers how God had revealed to him that “this famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt. He then told his brothers, “Now hurry back to my father and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me master over all the land of Egypt. So come down to me immediately! You can live in the region of Goshen, where you can be near me with all your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and everything you own. I will take care of you there, for there are still five years of famine ahead of us. Otherwise you, your household, and all your animals will starve.” (Genesis 45:6-11)

What Joseph’s brothers had meant for evil, God turned around for good. God can turn it around!

Joseph faced many setbacks, but God turned into a comeback that not only changed his life, and saved his family, but ensured that a whole nation survived. 

It is Time for a COMEBACK!

Joseph literally went from zero to hero. 

Today no matter what you are facing or where you find yourself, I need you to know that…

  • God can take your mess and turn it into a message
  • God can take your test and turn it into a testimony. 
  • God can take your setback and turn it into a comeback. 

Are you prepared to surrender your life, along with your setbacks to God? Just like God was with Joseph, so he wants to do life with you. 

He is with you in your pit. He is with you in your prison. He can pour out his favor and success on you, even in the middle of your mess and even in the middle of your test. 

God can bring you out. God can turn your setback into a great comeback! All you need to do is surrender your life and setbacks to God. 

Do you want to start or restart your walk with God? If you feel led to, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

Jesus told us that in this world we will face storms, trials, and troubles but he also told us to take heart.


Because he has overcome the world!

Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

Jesus has all power and authority. He can do all things. He can turn the tide. He can calm your storm. He can bring light into your darkness. He can turn your setback into the greatest comeback of all time. 

God is with you in your dark valleys. 

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalms 23:4 NIV)

God will see you through. He helps you survive in the middle of your setbacks. He will bring you through. 

God says, When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. (Isaiah 43:2)


For God is your Savior. 

But he wants to lift you up! He wants you to be fruitful and thrive in your comeback! 

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

You need to be connected to Jesus. You need to remain close to God. 

If you have fallen away from God, call on Jesus. If you are in the middle of a setback, even if it is due to your own mistakes, errors, and evil ways, return to God.

Do you want to start or restart your walk with God? If you feel led to, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NIV)

Do you know that the name “Jesus” means Savior? He came to save you. 

We are told, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13 NIV)

And this includes you. 

Do you want to start or restart your walk with God? If you feel led to, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

Have You Lost Your Way?

If you have drifted from God or lost your way, it is time to come back to God.

Return to God.

How is your relationship with God going? If your walk with God has stagnated, I believe God is calling you back! Click here if you’re ready to return to your FIRST LOVE.

Are you stuck in a pit that you just cannot get out of? 

Your pit may be an addiction, a financial debt, or a bondage you are stuck in. Jesus has a long extendable arm of love. He can reach into your pit, into the mud, lift you up and set you back on a solid foundation.  

Are you in some type of prison?

Maybe you are not physically locked away, but you may be a prisoner in your mind, bound to anxiety, depression, or even limiting beliefs. Today God can break the chains. He can unlock your prison door. He can break you out of your oppression. Maybe sin has you enslaved. Jesus can set the captive free. 

Do you want to start or restart your walk with God? If you feel led to, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

Put Jesus at the Center

If you have placed your faith in Jesus, you can rest assured that he is with you, even in your most trying situation…

Jesus said, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)

If you have placed your trust in Jesus, you can be assured that nothing will ever separate you from his love…

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38 NLT)

If Jesus is with you, he will be your strength…

For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13 NLT)

If you love Jesus, he will work it all out for the good…

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

If Jesus is at the center of your life you will get through this…

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

If Jesus is your Lord and Saviour, you will find victory…

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NLT)

God can turn your setback into the greatest comeback of all time!

God can take you out of the pit and place you in the palace. 

God can deliver you from the prison you may find yourself in and he can elevate you to a position of power.

It is not how you start the race that matters. It is how you finish!

God can bring light into your darkness.

God can turn your mourning into dancing.

God can lift you up out of the sinking sand and place you on a solid rock.

God can restore what the locust has devoured.

God can place joy back in your heart and give you a new song to sing.

God can fix what is broken.

God can turn your upside-down life the right way around.  

God can heal, deliver, and set you free.

God can turn your famine into a feast.

God can take your stunted desolate life and make it fruitful and flourishing.

Surrender your life to Jesus. Give him your burdens. Give him your setbacks. 

Do you want to start or restart your walk with God? If you feel led to, click here to pray a simple prayer we have set up for you.

Hand the reigns of your life over to Jesus. Make Jesus the center. 

God can turn your setback into the greatest comeback of all time!  

See, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19)

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